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Documentary about growing up in the Jehovah's Witnesses religion.

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Truth Be Told movie full length review - A fervently human documentary

This film is mostly composed of in-depth interviews with a handful of people who grew up in the Jehovah's Witness religion; my personal background and experience matches theirs.

It beautifully captures the alienating and isolating experience of growing up in the church-- starting with relatively harmless quirks such as not celebrating birthdays, and building up to the brutal practice of shunning.

There are only a few interviewees, but they represent substantial diversity of experience and perspectives. The movie never presents the faith as monolithic; and it focuses on the everyday life of most members, not on a few headline-grabbing scandals.

The one weak spot is the visual montages. In an attempt to capture the church's authoritarian and fear-mongering propaganda, there are lots of quick-flash (almost subliminal) shots of some of their more bizarre religious artwork, and pans and zooms over other ominous imagery. It comes across as cheesy and heavy-handed, and detracts from the candor and subtlety of the interviews.

On the other hand, the running image of the two girls bored in church is all too true to life (and probably churches everywhere); and the visual of street preachers--who gradually replace their pamphlets with signs describing their true feelings--is very well-executed, and helps tie the narrative together.

Overall, Truth Be Told is well-paced, insightful, and down-to-earth. I'd highly recommend it to anyone interested in non-mainstream religions, or who would like to better understand friends or family who've been Jehovah's Witnesses.